Hepatitis E Virus: Molecular Mechanisms and Opportunities for Diagnostics
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Hepatitis E Virus infection is an emerging cause of acute viral hepatitis and gastro-enteritis around the world. It is believed that every year about 10,000 people die because of the consequences of an infection with this virus. As early as 1983, a researcher voluntarily infected himself with HEV to study the pathogenesis (Balayan et al., 1983). Despite this effort, nowadays still only limited knowledge of HEV is present. Recently, a cell culture infection system has become available which can lead to a breakthrough in our knowledge on this virus. Here we present an overview of the present understanding of HEV in which we focus on the molecular mechanisms of this threat, the technical possibilities of and the challenges in diagnosis of present or recent HEV infection.